First singletrack official ride

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    • #84457

      Well, i thought i’d share my first experience on a singletrack at Seneca Creek in MD.

      Havent’s done this before (although i have some XC experience from back in the day), I bought my 09 DB Response Sport and after couple of small test rides, ventured out to a singletrack around Clopper Lake.

      When I got to the trailhead, it started raining, not hard but steady; temp. was 50. I sat in a car thinking about it, but then i said: Well I’m already here, so let me do this. May not be as much fun, but I was in the Army for 7 years and had to run plenty of times at 6:30 am in the rain, snow, sleet and after it I always was satisfied that i did it.

      So, I ventured out on a trail, slowly…only 15 seconds into the ride, there was a medium decent (which I wasnt too ready for). The ground was wet, there were a lot of leaves ( this is fall in MD, 15 Oct 09), and as i came down, it was scarry; on the breaks most of the decent, locked up rear couple of times. The problem was that there were rocks, roots, trees and logs, going down, and I was not sure how I would deal with them at higher speeds. Managed to stay on the bike though ;)

      Then, there were a few climbs. Tried to remember the basics of breathing, sooth pedaling, right gear, weight distribution. It was hard, rear was slippin as my weight was towards the front to put pressure on the front wheel. Had to walk the bike uphill couple of times. I think I need to get in better shape. Wait, not "i think", I KNOW ;)

      Went around the lake a few miles: Nice scenery, although very cloudy, rainy and cold.

      Had a lot of fun though, although I need to work on my fear of decending at high speed. Kinda scarry. Bike is a hardtail and it was bouncing all over the pace as i went over roots and smaller rocks.

      Also, need some practice going over logs on uphills – it seemed impossible.

      Well, this is my story. Went out had fun, came back in one piece, bike held up well. What more could I ask for? Oh yeah, no rain and some other crazy people who would have gone with me on this rainy adventure. The park was empty ;)

      What about you? What was your first MTB sinletrack expericence? Also, any advice pertaining to my first official singletrack ride would be appreciated!

    • #84458

      hey man sounds like it went pretty well, I find I can climb in low gear in wet conditions while in seating position with minimal slipping, but is all different for different people and conditions.

      As far as the roots and stuff they seem tricky which most are not (the ones in turns you gotta watch) but some speed actually makes roots and loose rocks easier for me to navigate but you shouldnt go flying through them just because it works for me never ride in a manner that makes you uncomfortable. You’ll get better everyday your out there and it will be more fun everytime as well. Im glad to see you had a good time and made it home safe!


    • #84459

      Nathan, thank you for the feedback. I guess the only way to find out what works andwhat doesnt and whats more comfortable is to go outthere and try it ;) I will be back on that trail this Sunday to practice some more, athough theres a good chance of rain they say. Oh well. Wouldnt be the first time.


    • #84460
      "Sergykal" wrote

      Nathan, thank you for the feedback. I guess the only way to find out what works andwhat doesnt and whats more comfortable is to go outthere and try it ;) I will be back on that trail this Sunday to practice some more, athough theres a good chance of rain they say. Oh well. Wouldnt be the first time.


      My ride days get rained out all the time but I still go and enjoy it alot! The mud and slick rocks add a new feeling to it. I just love riding though wether its trails or in the yard lol

    • #84461

      Oddly enough, on my Giant Trance I can climb really well out of the saddle,


      I usually don’t need to. The Trance has great traction either way, but the geometry is such that I can grind away from a seated position even on really steep stuff if it’s not too technical.

    • #84462

      Ok, so this is my third trip to the same location, same trail. I am getting better with climbs (see above). I worked on my riding position and it is now getting easier to stay in the seat while climbing. I read some posts here about pulling the handlebars and really driving the pedals in for traction, and it worked! I also realized that as my body gets used to this it get easier.

      I took 3 of my friends on the trail today and we had a blast, although one of the bikes had a chain/derailleur problem, so that rider had to do the climbs in higher gear.

      My bike got a bit loose (cables and such), which I realize is normal for a new bike. Now i will tune it up and will get back on the same trail.

      I also realized that I was able to go at higher speeds on the DH, as I got used to the bike and its behavior.

      On a related note, I am thinking about getting 2010 Crank Brothers Iodine Wheelset – any thoughts? Also need a better fork, any ideas? What would be a good fit on 09 DB Response Sport?

      This is it for now. I’m having tons of fun MTBing and will kee ya’ll posted on my adventures ;)


    • #84463

      Hey Serge,

      Welcome to the site and welcome to Mt Biking, Looks like you are coming along nicely. The more you ride the more you will figure out your own style and the little things that make things work. I ride a FS and I come out of the saddle at certain times and other time I don’t, You just have to see what works best for you and how you position your body. Just keep riding.

      See how those bike companies work? they get yo addicted and the next thing you knwo you want a better fork or a better this or a better that…. LOL

    • #84464

      the first few times out it can be an awkward experiance. learning your bike and yourself is all part of it. But you seem to make improvement prett quick, i mean after only three rides and you got it on a roll (no pun intended). the iodine wheel set you mentioned…..very very nice. those are the all-mountain wheels from CrankBros. There was a blog on here not to long ago about em (i think) and the pros and cons of the whole set-up. for a fork you may bealready set for a while with what you have (120mm of travel with lock-out if i’m not mistaken). unless you are having problems with it like bottoming out or if the stachions not being stiff enough. I would go with another maybe beefier 120mm travel fork or maybe even bump it up it to 130mm if you could find one. There are many different forks in the 120-130 range to choose from. You kinda just have to find one that you like and one that would fit your budget. But i would try to stick with the main-stream names like Rock Shox, Fox, Manitou, Marzzochi, and I think DT Swiss makes a fork now that might be worth looking into

    • #84465

      Thanks, guys.

      spazjensen, i read couple of reviews on CB Iodine wheels, and they were all positive, no negative reviews. Maybe they are good then ;)

      The fork is more of a long term project. I am ok with my fork for now, it does not bottom out, but it does not have any damping/rebound adjustment. Perhaps I dont need these right now anyways; I thought i’d start looking around for later though.

      Going again this weekend. I watched couple of technique videos from International Mountain Bike Magazine Online and I want to work more on my body position – it seems to be one of the biggest influences on riding. Gonna practice going over logs: rolling through or bunny hopping.


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